Endometriosis can cause painful periods, cramps, and heavy menstrual bleeding. Home remedies may provide relief by controlling inflammation, relaxing the muscles, and improving overall health.
Endometriosis occurs when tissue that resembles the uterine lining grows elsewhere in the body. This tissue may, for example, form on the fallopian tubes, ovaries, bowel, or bladder.
Endometrial tissue gets thicker at the start of a period and sheds during it. In someone with endometriosis, the endometrial-like tissue elsewhere in the body also starts to drop away during this time. This can cause pain and cramping, and scar tissue may form.
While there is
This article discusses nine home remedies for endometriosis symptoms, as well as what to avoid, available treatments, and more.
A person might find that the following techniques help reduce the pain and other symptoms of endometriosis.
Taking a warm bath or placing a heating pad or hot water bottle on the lower abdomen can help relax cramping pelvic muscles and reduce pain.
This is common remedy for menstrual cramps that
Pelvic massage may ease endometriosis-related pain. Manipulation of the pelvis and lower back may increase blood flow to the area, relaxing it and reducing pain associated with scar tissue from this condition.
Pain medications such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve) are examples of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that are available over the counter.
Before taking over-the-counter medications, particularly for long periods, speak with a healthcare professional about a safe dosage.
Altering the diet may reduce endometriosis symptoms, though identifying the most effective changes requires more research.
However, minimizing the consumption of red meat and increasing the intake of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help improve overall health.
Potentially problematic foods are heavily processed or contain:
Keeping a food diary and tracking symptoms can also help a person identify any foods that may worsen symptoms.
There is some evidence that a gluten-free diet may help reduce pain associated with endometriosis.
In a 2021 study,
The Endometriosis Foundation of America also reports that cutting out gluten may help reduce endometriosis pain.
To follow a gluten-free diet, a person should not eat grains such as wheat, rye, or barley. These are in many processed foods and products such as bread, pasta, and desserts, though gluten-free options may be available.
During the day, taking a few minutes to rest, such as by practicing deep breathing, taking a walk, or listening to music, may help reduce stress.
Also, getting enough sleep is crucial. Not doing so can cause changes in hormone levels, inflammation, and pain.
Certain herbal supplements might help reduce endometriosis symptoms.
It is important to note that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not monitor supplements for quality, dosage, or purity. Some companies rely on third-party lab testing to vet their supplements. However, it is crucial to speak with a doctor before taking any supplement and buy from reputable sources.
Some practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine use a variety of herbs to provide pain relief. While it cannot cure endometriosis, turmeric, for example, has anti-inflammatory properties.
A turmeric supplement
Some research has suggested that omega-3 fatty acids may help prevent the tissue that characterizes endometriosis from forming. Fatty fish, such as salmon, contain these acids, and there are also some vegan and vegetarian sources. A person can take them as a daily supplement.
Manufacturers derive cannabidiol (CBD) oil from the cannabis plant. Depending on the product, it may contain no or only trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol, the compound in the plant that produces a “high.”
CBD oil may help ease pain associated with endometriosis. In a 2017 study, researchers found that CB1 and CB2 antagonists may have therapeutic benefits for people with endometriosis pain.
A person can find CBD oil in a variety of products, including creams, ointments, and oral supplements. However, the legality varies by state, so check local laws before making a purchase.
Learn more about CBD oil for pain management.
Regular exercise helps release endorphins. These “feel good” hormones can help reduce pain.
Regular physical activity may also:
The researchers concluded that exercise, especially physical therapy, can help improve overall physical health and reduce some related pain, such as lower back pain, for people with endometriosis.
Still, determining the effects of exercise, including pelvic floor exercises, on endometriosis pain requires more research.
People with endometriosis may benefit from medical treatments to reduce pain and other symptoms.
Treatments for endometriosis that a doctor
Limiting the consumption of certain foods may help reduce symptoms and limit their future severity. Some foods a person may wish to avoid include:
The exact cause is
Symptoms of endometriosis vary. One person may be unaware that they have it, while another may have symptoms so severe that they need to stay in bed for several days each month.
Regular checkups are important during treatment. A person should report new symptoms and any changes in their periods to a doctor.
The doctor will
The next step may be laparoscopy. This involves a surgeon using a thin scope to look for endometrial implants and other potential causes of symptoms.
Endometriosis can cause difficulty getting pregnant, and anyone planning a pregnancy may want to consult a fertility doctor. Some treatments for endometriosis can also impact fertility.
Below, find answers to some common questions about endometriosis.
Not all people respond well to the same treatments, and not all treatments work well for everyone. For example, people who want to become pregnant should avoid hormonal treatments.
If the growths expand unchecked, this can lead to:
A person with endometriosis
The pain during a period may involve severe cramping and painful urination.
Some possible triggers can include:
To do this, a person
Endometriosis is a chronic condition. There is no cure, but home remedies and professional treatments may help ease the symptoms and prevent complications.
While the home remedies above are often useful, a doctor can recommend additional approaches to managing the symptoms.
Last medically reviewed on April 18, 2022